If you hang around expert golf players, you may have heard terms like getting up-and-down or stress-free golf. These are things not every golf player gets to experience. Do you know what’s the main obstruction? The lack of chipping skills!
The natural instinct for many new golfers is to hit drivers as far as they can. Some players even change their driver brands and specifications every now and then in the hope to lower their scores. Unfortunately, golf doesn’t work that way.
You must know how to work your way around the green if you want to have a lower handicap. Getting up-and-down basically means completing a hole in just two shots from the green, including a putt.
What’s the other shot? You guessed it right! It’s a chip shot. We know for a fact that a lot of players struggle with their chipping. They just can’t seem to find the balance between power and finesse.
But don’t worry. That’s where we come in. In this guide today, we’re going to look at the best chipping drills you can practice indoors with little to no specialized tools. As the winter is knocking on the door, you can utilize this downtime to improve your chipping skills. And when you successfully get a hold of your chipping skills, there’s nothing between you and an up-and-down!
Best Indoor Chipping Drills
In this section, we will focus on some of the drills designed specifically for chipping. As we’ve already said, you don’t need to leave your home for any of these drills. This is probably the easiest way to improve your skills without putting in as much work.
The ‘Y’ Drill
One thing many players find hard to wrap their heads around is that in chipping, you only need to use your upper body. Now, the reason behind the confusion is clear. In most golf guides, you see instructors telling you to harmonize your lower body and upper body for the most effective shots.
However, that concept doesn’t work very well with chipping or putting. Once you get yourself acquainted with the fact that your upper body will do all the work, let’s move forward.
How to Perform:
- Stand in your regular chipping stance with your favorite wedge or iron. You may or may not place the ball in front of you. If you’re practicing indoors with breakable furniture in sight, it’s better to leave the ball out of the equation.
- Now, consciously try to make a Y with your arms. The forks of the Y will be your arms fully extended while the shaft of your club will be the stem.
- This is the form you need to maintain throughout the swing. No matter what you do, don’t let the Y break. If you’ve never practiced this before, you might feel weirded out at first. But trust your instincts and keep doing this drill.
The Trail Hand Release Drill
This one is inspired by the legendary golf instructor Butch Harmon. According to his observations, most of the chipping mishaps are caused by the player’s lead hand. When players come down on the ball, they try to lift the ball in the air manually by flicking their lead hand.
It comes as an instinct. But golf doesn’t always follow the laws of instinct. Lifting the ball up in the air is a job for the club, not for your lead hand. By practicing this drill, you can tame the lead hand.
How to Perform:
- Get into your usual chipping stance. Meaning narrow feet distance, straighter body, and ball in the middle of your sternum.
- Swing as usual. But let your trailing hand (right hand if you’re a right-handed player) go just before you impact the ball. From there, you’ll force your lead hand to go through with the swing without any flicks.
- If you did tend to flick the wrist, the first couple of times you practice this drill will feel absurd. But as time goes by, you’ll start to notice the improvement. Your lead hand won’t try to flick the ball in the air involuntarily anymore.
The Chipping Coin Drill
This is one of the overlapping drills. What we mean is that you might find this drill in some of our posts as well because it’s a very effective one. You’ll simply need a few chipping coins, a golf mat, and a cup to practice this inside your home. The purpose of this drill is to improve your contact with the ball without digging into the ground too much.
The reason this drill works is the wedge bounce. By practicing it over time, you can get immense control over your chip shots.
How to Perform:
- Place chipping coins on the mat instead of the ball. Place a cup a few feet in front of the coin to work as the hole.
- Now, get an old wedge and try to hit the coins. It might feel impossible at first because the coins will lie flat on the ground. That’s where the innovative designs of the wedges come into play. Just follow your instincts and keep swinging.
- As time goes by, you’ll make better contact with the coins and gain control over your divot. These are two of the most important qualities found in a good golf player.
- The reason we recommend using an old wedge is that coins can damage the club face over time. If you want to avoid it completely, you can invest in dedicated chipping coins with special finishes to protect the clubs.
The Slam Dunk
This drill is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll be slam dunking throughout this drill. The difference is that you’ll be using your golf ball instead of a basketball. We’ve modified this drill a little bit. It was originally designed to be practiced at a real golf course.
The concept remains the same but we’ve moved it indoors. Instead of the green, you’ll be playing off of your golf mat. And instead of the hole, you’ll be using a simple cup to dunk the ball in.
How to Perform:
- Set up your mat and the ball as you would normally do for chipping. Place a cup as far as you can inside your home. It’s fine if it’s 10 feet. It’s also fine if it’s 5 feet.
- Now, hit down on the ball using a high loft wedge and try to land the ball directly in the cup. By now, you should get a clear idea about why it’s called the slam dunk, right?
- Keep track of how many balls you manage to land in one session. You can do this one after you’re done with other drills to finish off the practice session on a fun note.
Resource: How to Break 80 Golf Plan
The Exact Distance Drill
This is the most extreme one of the bunch and it might take you the longest to master. But if you can master it, the improvement you’ll notice in your short game will be mind-blowing. The reason we’re always so hung up on the short game is that the majority of the shots you play are from 100 yards in.
So, there’s really no point in trying to hit longer tee shots, is there? You’ll always end up short if you don’t practice your short game. No pun intended.
This is the drill that’ll teach you how to shoot exactly where you want to. Now, keep in mind that it doesn’t and won’t work 100% of the time. The odds just don’t support it. But the better you get at this drill, the lower your score will become and that’s a guarantee!
You will need 5 to 10 balls and the same number of cups for this drill. One of the things we love the most about this one is that you can practice it all day inside your home.
How to Perform:
- Place the cups are varying distances around the house. This is very much like the slam dunk but with higher stakes.
- Put all the balls in a basket and take position on your mat.
- Now, you’ll take one ball from the basket and target one cup at a time. Hit the ball and try to land it directly inside the cup. If you do, that’s great. If you don’t, move on.
- Get the 2nd ball and target another cup. Repeat this process for however many balls you’re playing with. Once you’re done with all the balls in the basket, call it a round.
- You can play multiple rounds in a day. Don’t forget to keep track of the scores to see the improvement in your distance and direction control. You can even invite friends to have a blast on weekends practicing this drill.
There is a misconception among players that you can’t practice chipping drills indoors because it requires a large space. Well, as you can see in our guide, it’s not always true. As long as you’re determined to improve yourself, you can work things out in any situation.
Golf Practice Plans to Follow
- How to Score in the 60’s Golf Training Plan
- How to Score in the 70’s Golf Training Plan
- How to Score in the 80’s Golf Training Plan
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Thanks for reading today’s article!
Nick Foy – Golf Instructor